Niagra hosts Air Force Reserve Week
By Tech. Sgt. Steph Sawyer, 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 08, 2018
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. --
The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station hosted a mass enlistment ceremony at Terrapin Point, Niagara Falls, New York, June 7, 2018. Several new and current members of the 914th Air Refueling Wing swore an oath of enlistment to the United States Air Force Reserve.
Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm, Deputy to the Chief of the Air Force Reserve, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, led the oath of enlistment during the official ceremony. Col. Mark S. Larson, 914th ARW commander, conducted a speech wherein he congratulated the enlistees and thanked the local community for their support.
This mass enlistment ceremony serves as a component of Air Force Reserve Week, a series of local events hosted by Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. The events of the week also serve as a prelude to the 2018 Thunder of Niagara Air Show, slated for June 9 and 10.
Hosting a mass enlistment for the local community to witness gives the military and its members the opportunity to share an important and symbolic milestone, marking the beginning or a continuation of one’s military service.
Senior Master Sgt. Jacob Miller, 914th ARW Recruiting Flight Chief, reflects on the significance of the community involvement in this ceremony.
“It brings awareness to our installation, what we do, and that we have members all over the community that are here to join and participate,” said Miller.
The majority of Niagara Falls ARS Reserve Citizen Airmen are local to the Niagara region and western New York, thus the base relies heavily upon the support of the local community. Air Force Reserve Week offers the base and its members a unique opportunity to give back to the community.
Maj. Michael McNulty, 914th ARW executive officer, acknowledged the importance of the Western New York community in relation to the success of NFARS.
“This is their Air Force and this is our way to give back,” said Maj. McNulty. “All the events leading up to [the air show] are opportunities for us to thank the community for everything they’ve done, their support of the base and all the members here. We’re very grateful.”
In addition to the mass enlistment at Niagara Falls, a concert featuring the Blue Aces, a band comprised of U.S. Air Force Active Duty musicians, was held at Hennepin Park in the Village of Lewiston, New York. Their performance featured three student musicians from Lewiston Porter Senior High School of Niagara County, New York.
The concert was free and open to anyone who wished to attend. The event drew community and military members from all over Western New York.